TCAA Advocacy Initiatives
Countering Violent Extremism Through Public Health Practice
The FORUM ON MEDICAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS FOR DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES, in which TCAA represent trauma, has published Countering Violent Extremism Through Public Health Practice: Proceedings of a Workshop. Click below for more information.
Reauthorization and Grant Support for Trauma Care
§ The House of Representatives approved the "The Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act (HR 648)" and "The Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act" (HR 647).
§ TCAA and their advocacy partners worked tirelessly with Dr. Burgess (R-TX) and Representative Gene Green (D-TX) to advance these vital bills. "The Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act" would among other provisions, reauthorize the Trauma and Emergency Care Systems Grants through 2020. These programs are essential to ensure the coordination of trauma care delivery among trauma centers, ambulances, helicopters, state and local governments as well as implement and evaluate innovative models of regionalized emergency care systems.
§ "The Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act "would among other provisions reauthorize the Trauma Care Center Grants and The Trauma Service Availability Grants through 2020. These programs would provide grants to prevent further trauma center closures and address shortfalls in trauma services and improve access to and the availability of trauma care in underserved areas.
§ In order to see any future funding, the programs must be reauthorized so the House and Senate Appropriations Committee can choose to fund the programs during the appropriations process. Accordingly, TCAA members conducted outreach to their Members of Congress requesting that they sign on to a Dear Colleague letter spearheaded by Dr. Burgess and Rep. Green requesting funding for all four of the Trauma and Emergency Care Programs. Over 45 Members of Congress signed the letter in support.
§ S. 763, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act has been introduced. Legislation in the Senate is under development to address Trauma Center and Service Availability.
Providing Policy Direction in HHS Appropriations
§ The Senate Committee on Appropriations cleared its final appropriations measure on July 23, marking the first time since 2009 that all 12 appropriations bills have been approved by the full committee.
§ The Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee bill contains report language provided by TCAA and our coalition partners. Notably, the report language calls for expanded NIH emergency and trauma research; a report on large scale traumatic events and modeling and evaluating trauma end emergency care payment reform.
§ When the Senate or House Appropriations Committee reports an appropriations bill to the full Senate or House, respectively, the committee typically publishes a committee report explaining the bill. These reports contain more detailed guidance/directives to agencies than is provided in the accompanying bill. The inclusion of our report language is a huge success as it is extremely challenging to have report language as direct as ours included.
HOPPS Proposed Rule-CMS Refrains from ED Code Consolidation
§ TCAA is pleased to report that CMS has proposed to not move ahead with the consolidation of emergency department (ED) codes.
§ As you may recall, in the CY 2014 proposed rule, CMS planned to consolidate its reimbursement of Type and Type B ED visits from five severity-based reimbursement levels to a single reimbursement level for each ED type.
§ Advancement of this proposal would have been devastating for trauma systems and centers. Ultimately, due to TCAA's comments, CMS did not finalize their proposal but indicated that “they may propose changes to the coding and APC assignments for ED visits in future rulemaking.”
§ TCAA submitted comments restating our position as well as calling for the development of trauma-specific HCPCS codes and the evaluation of a new value-based payment model.
Establishing Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program
§ TCAA successfully lobbied the bill sponsors of the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act (S. 688/H.R. 1343) to ensure that the legislation calls for HHS to conduct a study and make recommendations on the exclusion of certain conditions including trauma.
§ This important legislation will help to ensure that hospitals treating our nation’s most medically complex and vulnerable patients are not unfairly and disproportionately penalized by the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).
Hospital Payment Reform Opportunities for Trauma Care
§ House Ways and Means Committee leaders introduced three major hospital bills on July 29 that build off of the Hospital Payment Improvement (HIP) Act discussion draft that was released in November. The bills are part of its larger effort to reform the hospital payment system.
§ TCAA is exploring opportunities to include a demonstration into a final hospital reform package that would evaluate an alternative value-based reform for trauma care.
Partners in Preparedness: Institute of Medicine Forum Member
TCAA has become a member of the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, which focuses on providing national leadership in coordinating the many ongoing public health preparedness efforts and developing sustainable partnerships between the public and private sector so that communities are adequately prepared for natural or man-made catastrophic events. The Forum does this by offering an ongoing neutral venue where members of both the public and private sector meet, in open or closed session, to discuss and confront issues of mutual interest and concern around five broad topics: Medical Surge Capacity, Disaster Preparedness Training, Communication and Distribution, Psychological and Community Resilience, and Research and Evaluation.